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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal IP News – Issue #35

Hannah Samendinger | April 25, 2017
2 min read

You can now subscribe to our podcast, Alt Trademarks, on iTunes and Google Play. Our latest episode features Jenny Odegard and Nakia Hansen of Odegard Law in Brooklyn, NY. We discuss designing a practice for creative clients and the legal challenges facing influencers.

 Did You Hear That?

– This lawsuit goes to 11. The rock gods behind one of the most well-known mockumentaries are seeking $400 million for their part in the film.

– We are still awaiting a verdict in the Slants case, which is currently before the Supreme Court. What implications might the case have for the Cleveland Chiefs?

– Facebook recently shocked some people by sharing their developers’ mantra: “Move fast and break things.” What impact has that idea had on content creators who make money off of licensing?

– This tweet about the recent Race + IP conference had me thinking about brands in music. One fascinating example is the history of Grey Poupon and rap (who knew anyone could love dijon mustard this much?). The mustard brand has never objected to the use of their name by rappers, which isn’t always the case. Burberry Perry, Rolls Royce Rizzy, and Mattel learned this the hard way.

A Bunch of Techies

– Amazon received a patent for on-demand manufacturing, which would produce fashion items after an order has been placed.

– Law schools are helping to make students more competitive with increased tech training.

– Have you heard of Juicero? They received a lot of buzz after this side-by-side comparison of a $400 juicer and a pair of human hands. That hasn’t stopped the juice maker from suing for patent infringement.

Show Me the Money

– There have been several high-value patent sales this week. (1) Walmart bought’s intellectual property portfolio for $9 million. (2) Snapchat resportedly spent$7.7 million on a patent filing.

– A few recently issued Chinese trademark registrations for the Trump brand have stirred up some controversy. One has now been formally included in an ethics complaint, including potential violations of the Emoluments clause. The other evoked a response from Ivanka Trump’s brand. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said these registrations were nothing out of the ordinary.

– A patent holding company reached a settlement with Apple at 1:00 am, hours before their jury trial was set to begin. It’s reported they were seeking roughly $33 million in royalties.

Odds and Ends

– A group of 20 companies, organizations, and individuals have asked for the USPTO hiring freeze to be lifted.

– Secrets from the Canadian trademark database include many attempts to trademark “eh,” litigious Zambonis, and the “ding dang dong” of the SkyTrain.

– The four reasons EMC was first to use a trademark and still lost its case.

– A Chicago artist is in hot water for his mural of Michelle Obama. Is this a “remix” or plagiarism?

– Just for fun: a true sports hero. Oh, and Marvel owns at least one of the Illuminati trademark registrations.

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